Chapter 12 Excerpt. . .
with IBD & IBS: A Personal Journey of Success
In the beginning stages of my disease, when I was at my most depressed, I could see
no way back to my old life and being “normal.” Even though it's hard for me to admit now, I had even contemplated
suicide once or twice. Thankfully I hadn't had the guts to act on those feelings. For as frustrating and debilitating as it
can sometimes be, I’ve come to realize that colitis and its associated symptoms are not worth losing one's life over.
My future seemed bleak and hopeless at the beginning of my illness. Fortunately, I had a patient husband, some great doctors,
friends, family and even a few strangers to help me along the way. With a lot of hard work, patience and determination to
overcome my illness, I have since realized that what I was experiencing was simply one of life's roadblocks. IBD and IBS are
not fatal. I remind myself of this fact nearly every day. Some days, those of us who have these problems, might wish they
were fatal. However, while I have realized that my disease is something that is a continual challenge, I now know that neither
IBD nor IBS have full control over me. Had I been given the choice whether to have colitis or
not, of course I would have chosen not to have it. However, like so many other people who are learning to live with
their disease, whatever it may be, I was not given a choice about whether to have, or not to have IBD or IBS. The choice I
was given, however, was whether I would let either of these take control over my life, or whether I would take control
of it. I am glad that I opted to learn how to take control and worked through my depression, my frustration, my anger and
now have many more symptom-free days than I had in the first few years of living with my disease. I am also now able to maintain
a relatively constant weight somewhere between 115 and 118 pounds. But, I also still have “bad stomach days” that
can cause my weight to plummet by one, five, even ten pounds in certain instances. Instead of fear now being my first reaction
to a “bad stomach day,” oftentimes frustration creeps in instead. Frustration at having my life interrupted.
copyright Elizabeth Roberts 2006